This Day in History: 1334-06-05

The Chronicle of Lanercost records that: ‘Louis de Beaumont, Bishop of Durham, [died] … In his place the monks of Durham elected one of their con-fraternity, Sir Robert of Greystanes, a man in every respect worthy of such a dignity and a doctor of sacred theology. When he came before the king and besought his grace for the baronies and lands belonging to the bishopric, the king received him graciously enough ; but in the end replied that he had sent his own clerk. Master Richard de Bury, Doctor in Theology, to the court of my lord the Pope upon certain important affairs of the realm, and that among other things he had requested him that Richard might be made Bishop of Durham ; but, in the event of his not obtaining what he asked from the Pope then he would willingly grant him [Robert] all the grace he craved. This reply notwithstanding, that monk went before his Archbishop of York, was consecrated by him, was afterwards installed, received the submission of the clergy of the diocese, and performed other acts pertaining to the office of bishop. After this, the aforesaid Master Richard returned from the Pope’s court bringing with him to England a bull wherein it was set forth that the Pope had granted him the bishopric of Durham, and that he might be consecrated by any bishop whom he should choose. And consecrated he was in England, but not by the Archbishop of York. Thus were there two bishops consecrated for one bishopric ; but one of them, to wit the monk, shortly after went the way of all flesh ; whereby Master Richard remained as Bishop of Durham, and held a most solemn festival on the day of his installation, to wit, the fifth day of June in the year 1334. My lord the King of England was present, also the Queen, my lord King Edward of Scotland, two English earls, to wit, the king’s brother the Earl of Cornwall and the Earl of Warenne (owner of Sandal Castle) four Scottish earls, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Carlisle and a great multitude of clergy and people.’